Struggles With Worry And The Holidays
One of the greatest struggles Christians deal with today is the idea that we are told we should not store up treasures on earth (Matthew 6:19-21), yet we need to have something stored up to deal with emergencies and paying bills. In the same way we are told not to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:25-34), or even plan ahead in life because it can lead to pride (James 4:13-17); yet life in modern day society requires at least some sort of planning. So, if the Bible is meant to be helpful to those in the 1st century as well as today’s century, what is it trying to tell us? I think it is telling us a few simple things.
1. Do NOT Worry:
In all of these passages it hints at the fact that we as humans worry. It is a struggle we deal with on a daily basis. We worry about our homework, our job, our kids birthday party, meeting new people, or even the thought of leaving the lights/stove/faucet/TV...on. It seems to be a never ending list of things to worry about, yet Jesus says STOP IT!
Stop worrying, because it will get you nowhere. He even asks quite humorously, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Well no, of course not, so I say to you, can worrying turn off your lights or make your job better or finish your homework? NO! All it does is waste time, and Jesus knows that and is trying to help us understand that. Worrying not only hurts you emotionally, physically, and spiritually, but it affects how you spend your time; usefully or wastefully.
2. Do NOT be Prideful:
James is not saying in James 4 that we can’t plan ahead, he is saying, don’t take your plans and shove them into people’s faces. Along with worrying, planning ahead with the sure thought that things are going to happen to the point where you boast about them is just arrogant. It sends a terrible message that you are in charge of your life and no one can stop you. In essence you portray to others that you are your own god.
Well there is someone who can stop you, and He can change your plans in a heartbeat. James is trying to help us understand that it is not about whether you plan or not, it is about your intentions with your planning. Whether you are planning for a vacation, retirement, college, or even a car, remember to keep it in the path of God’s will, and understand that He is in control.
When we understand that God is in control, we not only become worry free, but we become more humble and grateful for all that He has given us.
Remember, the holidays are coming up and you might be saving for presents, to travel, or just for some turkey or ham; but in all you do, do not worry. You might not be able to buy the best gifts, travel on time, or you might even burn your Turducken, but just remember, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Is it really worth adding more stress to your life, when just getting through 24 hours is a big enough accomplishment?